news

Thursday's news in under 5 minutes.

We’ve rounded up all the latest news from Australia and around the world – so you don’t have to go searching.

1. Toddler who died with antidepressants in his blood also had deep bruises.

Warning: This item may be upsetting for some readers.

An inquest into the death of 21-month old Jordan Thompson, who died in the unit of his mother’s partner in Singleton in the New South Wales Hunter region in 2005, has heard that the toddler had injected antidepressants and had deep bruising.

Professor Timothy Lyons, from the School of Medicine at the University of Newcastle, told the inquest that Jordan had an unusual pattern of bruises that he did not believe would “relate to the normal knocks and falls of a toddler”.

“I wouldn’t routinely expect to see blood in the anal opening of a child of this age,” Professor Lyons said.

Chris McGorey, the counsel assisting the deputy coroner, Magistrate Elaine Truscott, told the inquest the toddler was being looked after by Jordan Thompson’s mother, Bernice Swales’s partner Cecil Kennedy while she was out shopping.

He alleges that he found Jordan unresponsive and face-down in the bath. In a video of a re-enactment where Mr Kennedy showed police how he found the little boy Kennedy said he performed CPR and told a police officer: “His eyes were funny. He wasn’t fully alert.”

“But he was alive when I was doing it.”

The ABC reports that Jordan’s mother Bernice Swales rushed Jordan to the hospital when she arrived home where he was pronounced dead.

An autopsy found traces of amitriptyline in his system, which is used in antidepressant drugs.

Mr McGorey said traces of the drug had also been found in the boy’s vomit from when he had been sick earlier in the day.

Three weeks later a packet of antidepressants containing amitriptylin was found in Mr Kennedy’s wardrobe. Mr Kennedy has denied giving the toddler the drugs.

The ABC reports that evidence presented showed it was impossible to tell whether the anti depressants killed Jordan.

Professor Olaf Drummer, a forensic pharmacologist from Monash University, said the drug could increase in concentration in the blood after death.

“Because you can’t know what the concentration was at the time of death, any estimation as to the dose the child was given could be very misleading.”

The inquest continues.

Anyone with information is urged to call CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000

2. Breaking: Reports of shooting in California – may be up to 20 victims.

shooting two

ADVERTISEMENT

CNN is reporting that a mass shooting has taken place in San Bernardino, California.

Police in the area have tweeted a warning that there was an “active shooter situation.”

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department tweeted that there was an “active shooter in the area of Orange Show Rd/Waterman Ave near Park center.”

The situation is till unfolding but there are reports that up to 20 people may be injured.

3. Will the Prime Minister continue to stand by Mal Brough on the last day of parliament?

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has called on the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to sack Mal Brough.

Labor has spent the past two weeks pursuing Mr Brough, the Special Minister of State, in parliament over claims he asked a former staffer to Peter Slipper to procure copies of the then-Speaker’s diaries and of subsequently misleading the Parliament this week when questioned on it.

Last year Mr Brough told the Nine Network’s 60 Minutes he had asked James Ashby to provide a copy of Mr Slipper’s diary. When Liz Hayes asked Mr Brough whether he had asked James Ashby to “procure copies” of the diary, Mr Brough replied: “Yes I did.”

Asked why Mr Brough replied: “Because I believed­ Peter Slipper had committed a crime. I believed he was defrauding the commonwealth.”

When Labor’s Mark Dreyfus challenged Mr Brough on this yesterday he got a different answer.

“I ask the same question that was asked by Channel Nine’s Liz Hayes on 60 Minutes — did you ask James Ashby to procure copies­ of Peter Slipper’s diary for you?” Mr Dreyfus asked.

ADVERTISEMENT

“No,” Mr Brough told parliament. Mr Brough was then accused of misleading the house but he denied it saying  “I have not misled the house.”

“I treat every question seriously, and I answer honestly.”

The Prime Minister yesterday stood by Mr Brough in parliament but made it clear the emergence of new facts would be grounds for acting against the minister.

The matter is set to be debated again today on the final day of parliament for the year.

4. Reports China has hacked the Bureau of Meteorology.

BOM HACK

The ABC reports that China is responsible for a cyber attack on the computers at the Bureau of Meteorology.

The Bureau provides critical information to a host of agencies, including a link to the Defence Department.

The ABC reports that the security breach will cost millions of dollars to fix as other agencies have also been affected.

But, China has denied any involvement in the attack.

“As we have reiterated on many occasions, the Chinese government is opposed to all forms of cyber attacks,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) executive director Peter Jennings said the motivation for the attack on the bureau could be commercial, strategic or both.

ADVERTISEMENT

“They’re looking for the weakest link and so if you go into an agency, which may have a level of security clearance, but perhaps not as high as central parts of the national security community, maybe there are weaknesses they can exploit which will enable them to then move into other, more highly-valued targets,” Mr Jennings told the ABC.

5. UK in marathon session of parliament debating joining the bombing of Syria.

The British Prime Minister David Cameron has urged parliament to vote to approve air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria.

The threat is very real,” Mr Cameron said at the start of a 10-hour debate due to culminate in a vote around 9am AEST.

“The question is this — do we work with our allies to degrade and destroy this threat and do we go after these terrorists in their heartlands from where they are plotting to kill British people, or do we sit back and wait for them?”

He caused controversy ahead of the vote when he told Conservative MPs not to side with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and “terrorist sympathisers” by opposing airstrikes. He has repeatedly been asked by opposition MPs to apologise for the jibe but has not done so.

If the government wins the vote bombing missions are likely to begin within days.

6. School principals say they have been threatened with violence with 1 in 3 being assaulted.

school111-720x547
One in three principals have reported actual physical violence.

A report released today shows that 41 per cent of principals have experienced threats of violence and 36 per cent experienced some form of bullying.

A shocking one in three principals have reported actual physical violence.

ADVERTISEMENT

The 2015 Australian Principal Occupational Health, Safety & Wellbeing Survey Report found 41 per cent of principals found that parents were the worst offenders making up 42 per cent of reported bullying and 41 per cent of threats towards principals.

The report found that school principals experienced violence eight times that experienced by the general population, with students the most common perpetrators (77% of reported violence).

Report author Australian Catholic University (ACU) Associate Professor Philip Riley said the report, was showing a consistent escalation of offensive behaviour that can no longer be ignored.

“Many of the results are not only of serious concern for the profession as a whole, but also the wider community. As an example of the toll that issues like this can take, this year’s survey saw double the rate of ‘red flags’ compared with last year. These ‘red flags’ appear when a principal’s responses show cause for concern and that intervention may be required,” Associate Professor Riley said.

NSW Primary Principals Association deputy president Phil Seymour told News Limited the results were disturbing: “If a parent is upset we are the frontline service they can have a go at.”

7. Woman given the right to die before she gets “poor and ugly”.

Wooden block, judge's wig and gavel on a wooden desk
Woman given the right to die before she gets “poor and ugly”.

A judge in the UK has granted a 50-year-old woman who fears being “poor, ugly or old” the right to die after she complained she had “lost her sparkle”.

The woman has claimed she would rather die than allow doctors to treat her damaged kidneys.

ADVERTISEMENT

Mr Justice MacDonald said the woman’s decision to refuse treatment could be characterised as “unwise” – he said some might even consider it “immoral”.

But he said the woman was the “sovereign” of her “own body and mind”, and was “entitled” to make such a decision.

The woman, known only as C, destroyed her kidneys after trying to kill herself by taking an overdose when she found out she had breast cancer.

As a result she needs dialysis but refuses to undergo further treatment even though there is a high chance she will live.

One of her daughters told the Court of Protection the most important thing to her mother, who was described as “impulsive” and “self-centred”, was her “sparkly lifestyle”.

A judge was asked by King’s College Hospital NHS Trust to decide if C had the mental capacity to refuse treatment.

In his controversial decision, which Mr Justice MacDonald said many people may be “horrified” by, he ruled in her favour.

“That she considers that the prospect of growing old, the fear of living with fewer material possessions, and the fear that she has lost, and will not regain, ‘her sparkle’ outweighs a prognosis that signals continued life will alarm and possibly horrify many.

Her decision is certainly one that does not accord with the expectations of many in society.

Indeed, others in society may consider her decision to be unreasonable, illogical or even immoral within the context of the sanctity accorded to life by society in general. None of this, however, is evidence of a lack of capacity.”

The court heard C placed a “significant premium on youth and beauty”, had four marriages and a number of affairs and was “at times a completely indifferent mother to her three caring daughters”.

One daughter told the court that her mother’s life had “to all appearances” been fairly glamorous. She said her mother did not want to be “poor”, “ugly” and “old”.

Her current health problems were caused after she took a paracetamol overdose with Veuve Clicquot champagne.

8. One month on from the Melbourne Cup Michelle Payne can’t get a ride.

michelle payne
No trainer wants Michelle Payne…
ADVERTISEMENT

The Daily Telegraph reports that the jockey who won this year’s Melbourne Cup, Michelle Payne is finding it difficult to get a ride.

According to the report Payne, who was planning on riding in this Saturday’s races, has not been offered a ride at Randwick this weekend.

“Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get a ride on the day but it will be fantastic to be able to come out and mingle with the public and members and get some photo opportunity,’’ she said.

Payne’s manager, Phillip Roost, said she was “readily available for rides”, having accepted the invitation two weeks ago which was widely promoted by the ATC.

“Knowing the industry, it’s no surprise. The fields are small and I guess the trainers wanted to use their regular riders,’’ he said. “There were simply no spots for her. If ­people think this is about her gender, well that’s bullshit. If you want to look anywhere, have a look at the size of your fields.”

9. Sexting scandal at elite Melbourne school.

Camberwell Grammar School in Melbourne.
Camberwell Grammar School in Melbourne. Via Twitter.
ADVERTISEMENT

The police are investigating a sexting scandal at the elite Camberwell Grammar School in Melbourne.

News Limited reports that a male student has been accused of tricking four classmates into sending him explicit images of themselves.

The boy is alleged to pretended to be a female to four the other male students, aged about 15 and requesting they send explicit images to him.

Once they sent the nude pictures, the youth is claimed to have distributed the images to other students.

Police last night confirmed an investigation was under way.

“Police have received a report in relation to alleged distribution of intimate images and an investigation has been launched,” a police statement said.

As there is an ongoing investigation by detectives at Box Hill ­Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Teams, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

Camberwell Grammar headmaster Paul Hicks told News Limited there was only one victim.

“The boy (victim) came to us and we were concerned and asked for the help of the liaison officer with Victoria Police, because we were concerned it was an older male predator,” he said.

“We found out consequently that it was this boy playing a prank and he has confessed. He has been punished by sitting down and talking to police, losing his online privilege, the embarrassment, and having to apologise to his friend. He’s very remorseful and learnt a mighty lesson, and it just shows the dangers of the online tool which is very powerful.”

10. Doctors warn: If you have a tummy bug stay out of the pool.

Pool swimming girl

ADVERTISEMENT

A rise in the number of cryptosporidiosis cases in November has prompted doctors to make the warning that if you’ve had diarrhoea stay away from public swimming pools.

Fairfax Media reports that notifications of cryptosporidiosis more than tripled between October and November, from 41 cases to 131 cases – the largest percentage increase in two years.

NSW Health Director of Health Protection Jeremy McAnulty said those who have had diarrhoea should stay out of public swimming pools for two weeks.

“If you’ve had crypto and your symptoms resolve you can still expel them in your faeces and some of that can stick to your skin around the bottom and get washed off in the pool when you’re swimming,” Dr McAnulty said.

“We’ve seen a sharper increase in the last couple of weeks than we’ve had in recent years and we might be on the upswing of something big, so if we can avoid it getting in swimming pools we can avert a chain outbreak. We’re trying to get in first.”

Fairfax Media reports that the parasite could survive the regular chlorine levels for swimming pools and can evade filtration systems. It mostly affects children under the age of five, who are more likely to swallow water while swimming.

11. 24/7 work culture bad for women.

Full length portrait of a young businesswoman working at her desk
24/7 work culture bad for women.
ADVERTISEMENT

The shift to a 24/7 work culture is making it difficult for women to get to the top op of their industry and making women increasingly less likely to want to.

In an interview with The Deal magazine Diane Grady who is a director of Macquarie Group and Spotless says that the digital world has a negative impact on men and women, but probably more so on women.

“The digital world allows us to work from all sorts of different places, but the demands have gotten out of control.”

She says that there had been many changes that made it easier for women to move up the corporate ladder in Australia, but the demands of the new 24/7 world were becoming a problem for some women in these roles reports The Australian.

“The big challenge for men and women is that the way we work has become all-consuming. Companies are now starting to talk about how they retain top women and men with the 24/7 expectations,” Ms Grady said.

“More and more young people want to do something which ­allows them to have a life with their families and friends and for their hobbies.

“One of the huge challenges now for employers is how we are going to pull work back — especially as business is becoming more global — to more reasonable standards.”

11. Doctor shows one simple trick to calm a crying baby.

If only we knew this before! A US pediatrician has solved the problems of the parents of newborns – how to stop their baby crying.

Dr Robert Hamilton who has given countless babies their immunisations has perfected the technique over many years.

He has now shared the technique online and it has been viewed and shared millions of times.

Video via Robert Hamilton

Do you have a story to share with Mamamia? Email us [email protected]
[post_snippet id=324408]

00:00 / ???